As in web series, dudes and dudettes. Series, we tells ya!
by Mike Shields and Douglas MacMillan
Yahoo Inc. YHOO -3.47% is raising its ambitions in online video, with plans to acquire the kind of original programming that typically winds up on high-end cable-TV networks and streaming services like Netflix, NFLX +0.20% people briefed on the company’s plans said.
The company is close to ordering four Web series, these people said. And unlike in years past, Yahoo isn’t looking for short-form Web originals, but rather 10-episode, half-hour comedies with per-episode budgets ranging from $700,000 to a few million dollars, the people said.
The projects being considered would be led by writers or directors with experience in television. “They want to blow it out big time,” said one of the people briefed about the plans.
Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is hoping to show off TV-caliber content to advertisers on April 28 when Yahoo holds its “NewFront”?event that is Internet companies’ answer to the so-called upfront ad-sales presentations made by TV networks each spring.
Yahoo declined to comment.
The company is competing in a costly and crowded market for top-notch original TV series. Besides a broad array of cable outlets vying for those shows, new entrants like Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -1.62% and Hulu LLC also have entered the fray.
“They’re looking at the same type of shows that Netflix and Amazon are eyeing,” said a person familiar with the situation.